This is today's profile of a stranger...
‘You know, she is the only child in the world that has made me like children,’ the man says to me, friendly but still detached, ‘including my own. What’s her name?’
‘Oh. I guess I’m just old fashioned.’
He does that a lot I suspect – not bothering with an edit button. He did try for a while but his marriage failed anyway, so now he doesn’t bother at all.
He looks like a sailor, sure on his feet and he’s short like a lot of sailors. But he’s not. He’s a former corporate analyst and now he earns a living buying and selling on e-bay.
He has two children, his son lives in London and his daughter lives on the Northern Beaches. She wants more contact with him, particularly since her two children were born, but every time he tries to visit, his ex is there and although he knows it’s beneath him, he always ends up taking her bait and saying something that makes the situation uncomfortable for everyone.
He’d like to speak to his son at the moment, given the unrest in London, but with the time difference he hasn’t been able to make the call.
He bought his townhouse when his marriage broke up. It’s only small, but plenty big enough for just him, and he has direct access to the water where he can throw his kayak in of a morning and paddle up the harbour as the sun bleeds across the city.
He enjoys expensive scotch. And has a veranda furnished with a comfy chair and table just for that.
There’s a relaxed, sensitive side to him upon occasion. He just doesn’t seem to have much need for it, so it stays packed away with his regrets.